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1 December 2002 Nocturnal Egg Neglect and Prolonged Incubation in the Red-necked Grebe
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Miniaturized temperature loggers placed in Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegina) nests revealed that 16 of the 32 monitored pairs abandoned their nests for extended periods lasting 3-9 h during at least two of the three nights that they were monitored. When incubating pairs left their nests unattended, temperatures of the thermistored egg usually dropped precipitously to below 30°C within 15-25 min. Duration of a pair’s incubation period was positively associated with the number of minutes that the thermistored egg was below 30°C in our 3-day samples, yet nesting success remained high. Embryos appeared to be tolerant of this cooling; 26 of the 32 monitored nests hatched young, and there was no detectable increase in the failure of eggs to hatch for pairs neglecting their clutches more than 3 h per night. We suggest Red-necked Grebes preemptively leave their nests at night to avoid predation on their eggs or themselves.

Gary L. Nuechterlein and Deborah Buitron "Nocturnal Egg Neglect and Prolonged Incubation in the Red-necked Grebe," Waterbirds 25(4), 485-491, (1 December 2002).[0485:NENAPI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 1 February 2002; Accepted: 1 July 2002; Published: 1 December 2002

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